I've increased my duration of mediation recently to an hour in an effort to manage the holiday season with more skill.
This morning I was listening to Shinzen Young (my teacher) go over a "working with the holidays - windows and walls" meditation session from his home practice program. And for whatever reason I had an experience where I tasted self-compassion for this being that is my "self" and was really able to see/know/feel the difference between the love and support I was given as a child, and what I have provided and now provide for my children. I was able to give myself the love, support and understanding that I would give my family (born or found).
There are times when I don't feel deserving of that. Times when I treat myself like someone I don't really care for. My mind can be a terrible place to walk alone in after dark.
I then continued on, and was appreciating the difference between when I started sitting and where I was at that moment. A moment of joy. I was having an awesome meditation session. Boy I needed it.
Then my daughter came in. She sees me meditating and lets the dog in.
Dad - "Sweetie, can you take the dog back out?"
Aria - "Why?"
Dad - "Because I'm having a nice time meditating and I'd like to not have her licking herself the whole time."
Aria - "…"
Aria - "Well, isn't that just something you sit and listen to then? Hear it right?"
Dad - "…" <thinking> - Yes, it's all part of my meditation practice, dog licking and all.
Dad - "Yes, you are absolutely right! You were listening when I taught you!" I beamed
Dad - "Thank you for being my teacher in this moment." I bowed to her
She beamed. She was so proud. My heart filled. I started crying.
Aria - "Are you crying?"
Dad - "Yes, happy tears."
Aria - "I love you daddy." She comes in and gives me an huge honest hug
Dad - "I love you too Aria."
I pause the meditation recording and spend the next 30 minutes laughing and playing catch/keep-away with her and the dog.
Now as I sit and reflect and write this I think back and cry again. Moments like this don't come along every day. It's important to see them, recognize them, pay attention to them, and appreciate them.
This Christmas I wish you at least one moment of Joy. I hope that you see it as it happens. I hope that you appreciate it.
All my love to you,